Much as a child draws a picture of a favorite animal, Jeff Phillips has attempted to do something similar with a favorite beverage. It is illustrated in the fashion of a child’s bedtime story book. Only this story book delves into adult themes of corruption and takes us into the land of the source of an intoxicating ingredient, offering a bedtime story not for the dozing child but the soul of a somewhat hardened drinking type. Shane Bowermaster reaps the land and sells his crop of barley to sustain the family pastime and habit; whiskey. Inspired to try his hand at brewing the beverage of choice, a new trade consumes the Bowermaster family, leading them down a path toward one wild and wicked toast.
“Through the construction of what may be called a bedtime story, Phillips extends a hand to the drunkard and by extension, to the modern reader who looks to fiction to fill up the emotional gaps left barren by historical platitude. So Phillips imbues his text with details from an alternate history, leaping ideas of the type told by a drunken dreamer who truly believes he is awake—“I can drive! I can drive!”—; so he does drive, forward and quick, passing through a national landscape so defined and attentive that the reader instantly recognizes the semi-soft surprise of an erection unexpectedly pushing against the base of a wooden dinner table in full use and spread. However, this same reader cannot identify the story’s setting or time period—1890s? 1970s?—unless hard pressed and squeezed. This is an unusual thing. Let it be known: “Whiskey Pike” is the intoxicating mixture of a young man under many influences.” – James N. Kienitz Wilkins, director of Nature Mature and Public Hearing.
For more info: http://www.whiskeypike.com
Visiting from San Francisco, poet and artist Scott Inguito will read from two poetry chapbooks along with Sandra Lim, who will read from her first book, Loveliest Grotesque (Kore Press).
Scott Inguito is a graduate of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His chapbook, Dear Jack, is out from Momotombo Press, and his latest chapbook, The Vernacular Sounds of Dog Noise, a collection of woofs, barks and yelps written in Mexico in January 2008, is something he is working on. His poems have appeared in Shampoo, Fence, and 1913: a journal of forms. His collage-play “Trying to Create Intimacy with a Narcissist” was performed at California College of Art, San Francisco, for Small Press Traffic, in December 2008. Scott lives in San Francisco. His paintings and pictures from his play can be seen at scottinguito.com.
Sandra Lim was born in Seoul, Korea and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended Stanford University, and holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her poems have appeared in several literary journals including Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, and ZYZZYVA. Her book of poems, Loveliest Grotesque (2006), won the Kore Press First Book Award. She lives in San Francisco. She is currently the Elma Stuckey Emerging Poet-in-Residence at Columbia College in Chicago.
Brett Eugene Ralph, whom Harmony Korine calls “a true beast of a man with insight and beauty to spare” and whose work has been described by Will Oldham as “an excuse for hope . . . sustaining, inspiring, even rescuing” will read at Quimby’s from his book Black Sabbatical. When asked about his influences, Brett Eugene Ralph points to three enduring sources: growing up Southern working class in the 1970s and 80s, playing in punk rock bands, and practicing Tibetan Buddhism. Not a likely combination for a poet, perhaps, but one that has brought forth Black Sabbatical, a debut collection that sings with gutbucket colloquialisms, hallucinatory interludes, and the storytelling tradition of Kentucky. Riled and immediate, the voice that booms from Black Sabbatical is of a seeker tearing the place apart, unafraid to see things for himself, to sing what he has seen, or to say what the long road that led here has cost him.
“[Brett Eugene Ralph is] a poet as honest and a debut collection as consistently strong as anything else currently out there.”
-Michael O. Mayberry, Alabama Writers’ Forum
Southern gothic meets alt-country twang, and rural hardship meets terse postpunk sophistication [as] Ralph’s troubled characters and dissonant outbursts evoke a self-destructive youth: “It’s like somebody choking on a car horn,” one poem ends, “or something metal being born.” Ralph’s rough free verse recalls the deep Ozark surrealism of Frank Stanford and the early poems of Denis Johnson, though neither precursor takes on quite the same blend of upper South present and past.” –Publishers Weekly
For more info: http://www.sarabandebooks.org
Also joining the bill is Chicago producer and musician Steve Albini, who will read some short fiction. He’s been writing short fiction for years. Did you know that?